In a nutshell, for every Naira and Kobo you earn and expend, do you have the record of it in a journal? If we take the position of, “oh it’s just a one-man business when we expand we would do it”. We have set ourselves up to fail. James Clear aptly captures it this way when he said, “Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change”. If previous actions build up the potential for a breakthrough, so also would previous inactions build up the potential for a major unchanged…NOTHINGNESS.
Growing up, my Mum had a Chemist Shop, (She is a Trained Nurse) and she ensured for every item we sold in the Shop, we entered it into a journal that we reconcile at the close of work every day. And for every amount that was expended, it was documented and the purpose noted down for future reference. Interestingly, my Mum has this life-long habit of documenting every cash she expends. She has it copiously written in small pieces of papers to aid in the reconciliation of her accounts at the end of the day. When she was in active service, her salary was always broken down into different components and areas it would go to; Tithe, Cooperative, Shop, Housekeep, School Fees, etc. And she has used that habit of documenting every naira and kobo to assist several of her colleagues to achieve major projects while they were in active service that they are to date, eternally grateful to her for.
What am I saying in essence, you can set the goals and target for your business that you want to achieve, but “you do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” James Clear “An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.” If you do not create systems around your business that would ensure that every business transaction is documented, your business will not succeed. And per-adventure, by a stroke of luck, it does succeed, it’s ticking time bomb that will implode your business. Have you ever wondered why there are no 100-year-old organizations in Nigeria? Look around! And for Organisations that are in that age worldwide, they would show you their documented history from day one of being established, every journal, every document, everything that concerns the business is duly noted down and accounted for.
If you cannot account for your business transactions as an SME, then you would not account for it as a big organization or corporation. Let me let you in on a secret, for every organization that gets listed on the stock exchange, they had documented records that showed their track history financially and business operation wise.
In the words of Andy Andrew, “Your big picture will never be a masterpiece if you ignore the tiny brushstrokes…” Keep a journal of your transactions, have a cashbook journal to document your every sale. Don’t wait till you have a shop/kiosk somewhere before you start it. Remember, “you do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. Put systems in place that would make you accountable and responsible. A well-placed system gives us commendable results that we seek. You do not have to make it a goal, make it a habit to document and keep records. Little drops of water, make a mighty ocean. Cultivate the habit of inputting your daily sales into a ledger. There are several apps that you can make use of if you feel you can misplace the hard copy books. There is Wave that you can easily set up, there are ZipBooks, Money Manager Ex, GnuCash and so much more that are free to use. And if it’s a hard copy you prefer, here is a template below:
The success of your business would ultimately be determined by your commitment to the process of building up systems, no matter our minute it is, for you to reach your desired goal and end.